David Byrne

By: Katie Hennessey
May 14, 2014


First finding fame in the Seventies as front man for the conceptual-artsy, roots-rocksy, fela-funky, surrealist-sensory, Brian-Eno-influenced band The Talking Heads, DAVID BYRNE (born 1952) has become the best known bicycle-riding, book-writing, photograph-snapping, score-composing, video-dancing media mogul ever to drop out of RISD. In hundreds of concerts, not to mention trippy films like Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense (1984) and his own True Stories (1986), Byrne has entertained audiences with his quirky brand of performance art, allowing his somewhat spectrumy self to shine through, big suit and all. Byrne’s 2012 book How Music Works serves as a guide to music and the music biz; it’s also a self-help book for a life larger than life. And he’s been a technological innovator: Stop Making Sense was the first concert video ever made using digital audio techniques; and the art book/DVD Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information is a self-referential PowerPoint presentation which, he says, started off as a joke. For a guy with no sense of humor, he sure is funny.


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On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: George Lucas, Ed Rickettes, Wim Mertens, Dan Auerbach, Thomas Gainsborough, Bruce Rogers.

READ MORE about members of the Blank Generation (1944-53).